The Cost of Living Database provides county-level estimates of the cost of living for different family types using a basic set of expenses. This includes housing, utilities, childcare, health insurance, food, transportation, and other miscellaneous expenses.

Further, the CLD is used in our CLIFF dashboards, which help simulate the challenges of real families. Costs are an important consideration when calculating eligibility because public assistance programs often allow for deductions of certain expenses such as housing, utilities, and childcare.

Download the Cost of Living Database Technical Manual Adobe PDF file format

Download the Cost of Living Database Microsoft Excel file

Cost of living across the United States
The Atlanta Fed Cost of Living Calculator is an interactive online tool that uses a basic set of expenses to estimate the total cost of living and its components for any county and nearly any household type in the United States. It shows the total amount of pretax income a family needs to be able to afford these expenses and calculates the hourly wage equivalent. With this information, practitioners can construct localized measures of employment income adequacy, such as economic self-sufficiency standards and living-wage thresholds.

See this Partners Update article for an example of how to use the Atlanta Fed Cost of Living Calculator.